Sajid Javid issues bleak warning on new Covid variant to cause ‘trouble’ for UK

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The minister told MPs that the Government had to “stay on top of” the virus as new strains emerge in the months and years ahead.

He warned that there would continue to be mutations in the future and pharmaceutical interventions such as vaccines may need to once again been rushed out in a bid to stay on top of the situation.

“It’s a reminder of the importance to stay vigilant but also to stay vaccinated,” Mr Javid told the health and social care committee.

“I think there likely will be a variant that will be trouble in the future.”

Last week Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced he would not be extending his Plan B Covid measures – which mandated Covid passes for large events and made face masks in indoor spaces compulsory – beyond January 26.

He also said he was planning to remove further rules such as self-isolation for those infected with the virus this spring.

Mr Javid said he will be setting out a plan on how the country can “learn to live with Covid”.

He added that vaccines, treatments such as antivirals, and testing will be “top of the list”.

The minister said: “We’ve got to find a way to live with it in the same way, let’s say, we live with flu, you know, and I’m not for a second sort of saying it’s like flu, you know, look at sadly all the deaths we’ve had from Covid – over 150,000 from the start.

“It’s about understanding we do now have defences which we didn’t have before and just as sort of flu doesn’t stop society and stop life, we mustn’t let Covid do that anymore.”

More to follow…

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